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Thousands of Ukrainians sign petition to make UK's Boris Johnson their PM

Some 2,500 people have signed the tongue-in-cheek petition, which also wants to grant the outgoing British Prime Minister Boris Johnson Ukrainian citizenship.

Thousands of Ukrainians sign petition to make UK's Boris Johnson their PM snt
Ukraine, First Published Jul 27, 2022, 10:04 PM IST

To recognise Boris Johnson's support for Ukraine amidst the Russian invasion, thousands of Ukrainians have signed a petition to make the 58-year-old their Prime Minister. Since Tuesday, over 5,000 people have signed the petition that also wants to grant the outgoing British PM citizenship.

Johnson has fallen out of favour at home and eventually announced his resignation in early July after hundreds of ministers left their posts. However, he is still revered in Kyiv for his outspoken backing of Ukraine as it repels Russian aggression.

Also read: MI6 chief's bold Ukraine war assessment: Russia running 'out of steam'

The petition, addressed to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, lists Johnson's strengths as: "Worldwide support for Boris Johnson, a clear position against the military invasion of Ukraine, (and) wisdom in the political, financial and legal spheres."

A few hours after the petition was posted, Johnson handed Zelenskyy the Sir Winston Churchill Leadership Award for displaying "great courage, defiance, and dignity" in the face of Russia's invasion.

Zelenskyy did not mention the new petition when accepting the award, but if it gathers 25,000 signatures, he will be obliged to respond officially. 

Thousands of Ukrainians sign petition to make UK's Boris Johnson their PM snt

The Ukrainian President, who accepted the honour via video link from Kyiv, referenced Churchill, the British PM during World War II, saying that Johnson "had no thought of quitting the struggle" when things got difficult.

Meanwhile, Johnson recalled how Zelenskyy confirmed on February 24 that Russia had invaded, adding, "In that moment of supreme crisis, you faced a test of leadership that was, in its way, as severe as Churchill's challenge in 1940."

Zelenskyy thanked Johnson and Britain for their support.

Also read: Ukraine war: Decoding why Moscow could go nuclear over Kyiv's threats to Crimea

Since Johnson was the first Western leader to visit Ukraine after Russia's invasion, the two men have developed a close friendship. Zelenskyy expressed his sadness earlier this month when Johnson resigned as the head of the Conservative Party following months of ethics problems.

When the Ukrainian President referenced one of Churchill's most famous speeches and threatened to battle Russian forces in the air, sea, and on the streets in March, the British Parliament applauded him with a standing ovation.

In 2006, the Churchill leadership award was first given out. Former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Prince Charles, Margaret Thatcher, and John Major are just a few of the honorees from the past.

Also read: Ukraine war: After Ghost of Kyiv, now 'Zaporizhzhia Avenger' sparks myth or reality 'superhero' debate

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